Top 5 Software Development Trends for Startups in 2022
When one speaks of a startup software product development, it’s crucial to set priorities. Business goals tend to dominate, though technologies play a significant role in achieving these goals. And if you are aware of modern and practically proven technologies and approaches, it may help to avoid common mistakes when choosing a software development partner from the tremendous pool of companies offering their services.
In this article, we will investigate software development trends for startups and find technologies that are optimally suited for mobile or web application development in 2022. In addition, we will reveal why to use particular technologies and when they are not recommended. To prove the theory, we will take a glance at real case studies of MobiDev’s clients.
A spoiler: our study focuses on the hottest technologies of 2022—Flutter, React Native, PWA, Headless CMS, and Firebase.
1. Flutter: The silver bullet for B2C and C2C startups
Being an open-source framework, Flutter is optimal for B2C and C2C projects where the primary role belongs to the end user. In the user-centric platform the solution is designed with an emphasis on UX and customization.
Flutter is suitable for multi-platform development and enables the application of a single codebase to deploy final solutions. Apart from the fast performance of the Flutter code, this framework is powered by Google and has numerous advantages, namely, a common UI and business logic on different platforms, a powerful rendering engine, and the possibility to update code and see introduced changes almost instantly. Unlike competing technologies, Flutter allows sharing more than 95% of the code between platforms, while, for instance, in React Native the same indicator doesn’t exceed 60–80%. However, precise indicators depend on the type of the project.
To summarize, software companies use Flutter for product development in the following cases:
- Limited time to develop an application
- Dynamically changing app logic
- User-centric platforms with an emphasis on UX and customization
- Products with sophisticated design and animations
MobiDev’s experience related to Flutter development comprises:
- Flutter-Based App for Learning Spanish
- Mobile CRM Application for Landscape Contractors
- A Beta Product for Music Startup
- Sports software for schools and nurseries
We tested Flutter as an engine for software products of different types. And it proved to be a reliable technology even in the case of PoC solutions for iOS and Android where the feasibility of the idea had to be tested before the full-fledged development. In this case, the primary motivation for choosing Flutter for the project was the possibility to implement the dynamic change to the application’s logic.
Software development life cycle implied partial building of the functionality which was tested by the customer’s focus group. After adjustments had been ascertained, we refined the PoC solution. It didn’t take long because we amended only one source of code, therefore introducing changes for a whole series of operational systems. We initiated the development of the PoC solution, and four weeks were enough to deploy the final product.
Since Flutter is an open-source project, we may easily analyze the tendencies of its development in 2022 and beyond. And if the stable release of Flutter 2 for web was the highlight of the last year, we can see evidence of new features in 2022. Performance improvements, stable Windows support, iOS & Android updates, transition to Material 3 and other breaking changes took place in Flutter 2.10.
2. React Native: Developer-centric platform for mobile app startups
React Native is an open-source UI software framework that combines React and native development elements and enables creation of mesmerizing UI interfaces. It can be entirely or partly applicable for iOS and Android projects. With React Native, building applications across platforms becomes easier, though companies may combine this framework with other technologies in production.
Cross-platform development fostered by the application of React Native has been intensively evolving for at least 7 years. Nowadays, Bloomberg’s mobile application for iOS and Android, cross-platform Ads Manager application for Facebook, Restaurant Dashboard in UberEats, Discord iOS app, and different parts of Microsoft products – from OneDrive to Outlook – are built with the help of React Native technology.
To tackle issues related to React Native (RN) development and the potential alternatives, we should clearly understand the pros and cons of the framework. Therefore, we have to answer three questions. What are the main features of RN? What may prevent the effective use of RN in production? In which cases is RN the most suitable option?
Diving deeper into the main features of RN, it’s worth mentioning that the benefits can be dubious and there’s always a flip side of the coin. First of all, code reuse between web and mobile platforms in RN that’s mentioned as the main feature of the framework implies reuse only of the business and a source code logic. The advantage of RN is that the architecture of mobile apps is similar to web apps, which simplifies the development process.
React Native is applied in the following cases:
- MVP/PoC solutions with a simple client-server architecture, where it’s possible to sacrifice the complexity of the design.
- The support of an app after the release will be carried out by the team primarily consisting of JS engineers.
- Enterprise and B2B applications
React Native is the preferred option for the developer-centric platform. The framework must be considered if the main criteria is the development of a mobile app for the team’s needs, and companies do not tend to hire new engineers, being ready to sacrifice the sophistication of the design or performance in order to support the application with the existing platform.
Building an application for fitness and lifestyle is an example of MobiDev’s experience with React Native cross-platform development. This case study confirms that the solution allowed our client to reduce development costs by up to 80% in comparison with competitive technologies. Flutter wasn’t available at the time, but we would use it for the same task today to significantly reduce the development time.
The customer’s goal was the geographical spread of the project and entering new markets, which was impossible with an outdated application. MobiDev aimed at building a scalable cross-platform application while ensuring reasonable time and costs involved.
We applied React Native to enable running the same code base on iOS and Android. This approach simplified introducing changes on the go and implementation of the business logic and interconnections. The development was optimized through the application of the existing libraries.
3. PWA: Perfect fit for fast MVP app launch
PWAs constitute progressive web applications developed via specific tech stack (service workers, manifests, and so on) to provide features peculiar to native applications.
On the one hand, PWAs are as discoverable as web applications.
On the other hand, PWAs provide a seamless user experience comparable to native apps.
It is not yet all roses in PWAs because of the limitations on platform and hardware support. Firefox discontinued work towards PWAs support on desktop. And this fact illustrates the instability of this web architecture.
Fewer PWAs’ functionalities derive from the restricted access to the hardware of the devices. However, the PWA approach may give you the winning edge if an app should be developed and deployed as fast as possible, with an affordable budget. PWA design is a perfect fit for startups that aim at fast MVP app launch, built via a single codebase for further deployment on different platforms.
PWAs are installable and independent from the platform which simplifies deployment. Users download PWAs in the same way as a native application, achieving the same level of functionality and experience. Moreover, the lightweightness and responsiveness of PWAs make them aesthetic and fully aligned with modern design requirements. They are also indexed by search engines and appear in the search results. Not all search engine crawlers are able to process JS and index PWAs immediately, though.
4. Headless CMS: Scalable, Flexible, Fast, Secure
The headless CMS solution represents any back-end CMS where the content repository is separated from the presentation layer. It’s a scalable solution – headless CMS flexibility enables reusing content since it’s not united with the code.
The features of the design in headless CMS allow managing content and APIs by users. Editors work together on content, which is then stored and delivered.
You may perceive headless CMS as a modern Content Management System that has the following advantages:
- Simplicity of building omnichannel experiences
- Flexibility – it’s easier to control the content, deciding where and how it appears
- Ease and speed of development – developers may independently choose optimal tools and technologies
- Superb architecture with a high level of security
- Extensive integration capabilities
Research and Markets forecast demonstrates that headless CMS is a promising direction – its software market is projected to reach US$ 1,628.6 million by 2027.
5. Firebase: Convenient Tools and Services
Firebase is an app development software powered by Google. Teams of different sizes use Firebase for building mobile and web applications since it includes convenient tools and services, namely, authentication, analytics, cloud messaging, real-time database, crashlytics for troubleshooting, performance monitoring, and test lab.
To fully immerse into how Firebase can be applied for MVP and PoC development, we will overview an MVP Lite. The tech stack of MVP Lite consists of Firebase and Flutter. This approach enables the implementation of the needed features in the short term since there is no need for the final design and full-fledged testing.
MVP Lite foresees the development of 80% of the key functionality, which reduces the overall development costs. Potential savings are estimated at 30–80%. The combination of Flutter and Firebase may allow native access to databases and functions like authorization, push notifications, and an out-of-the-box admin panel. This tech stack and out-of-the-box integrated libraries are suitable for building mobile and web solutions.
Add AI to Outrun Your Competitors
Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) features into your startup product can modernize it and add extra market value to it. AI has various applications in many industries, including but not limited to retail, marketing, financial technology, manufacturing, and healthcare.
AI application development isn’t fundamentally different from the non-AI application, but incorporates PoC (Proof of Concept) and a demo. We have prepared a comprehensive research on what it takes to develop an artificial intelligence application; what are the pitfalls, time frames and the scope of AI projects.
We have reviewed the software development technologies for startups that could shape the industry in 2022, though trends in this area are changing in the blink of an eye. If you’re interested in the development of a marketable product, feel free to contact us to discuss your project.